The Himalaya has some of the most outstanding mountain scenery found anywhere on earth. Nepal is a country that is crammed full of utter magnificence, most of which is easily accessible from the capital Kathmandu. Adventures into the mountains can be made on as little as five days, up to full-blown expeditions which can go up to sixty days and beyond.
Most of us have heard of the Himalaya and just about everyone on the planet will know about Mount Everest, but if you delve a little into the country, away from the classic treks and climbs of the Everest Region and the Annapurna and you will find some truly spectacular ranges, completely untouched, barely visited by many other foreign travellers and begging to be explored.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, then check out our Top 5 Himalaya treks to do before you die:
1 - Kanchenjunga
Way out in the far east of Nepal Kanchenjunga (the third highest mountain on the planet) dominates an entire massif, sitting between the borders of Nepal and India.
Trekking in Kanchenjunga follows an empty trail to the mountains base camp. This region receives such few visitors that it is very easy for you to slope off the grid and have this slice of heaven all to yourself. Waterfalls thrash down from big glacial walls and carpets of flowers and plants cover the quiet trails.
You will stumble across the occasional ethnic village and along rugged terrain as you make the journey, the rewards, however, are bountiful with extraordinary views of the giant mountains above, forests bursting with life and prosperous villages serving hot tongba (a local alcoholic drink), as you pass through.
Treks into Kanchenjunga head to the mountains base camp (5,143m) on a circular journey which routes via the Yalung Base Camp (4,500m).
You will need time available to explore Kanchenjunga as the remote terrain and distance you will cover is reasonably extensive. Expect journeys to last up to 21 days.
As a guideline our fully private trips start from as little as £3,895 per person.
2 – Makalu
Makalu is one of our favourite places in the Himalaya, a hidden diamond sparkling in majestic glory. Similar to Kanchenjunga, this is a place which very few people get to enjoy.
The wilderness that surrounds Makalu is a true-life Shangri-La, a land of towering mountains, gigantic waterfalls and rich forests of rhododendron.
The nature of trekking in Makalu is more challenging than other parts of the country, it doesn’t boast the same standard of tea houses as you find in Everest and Annapurna as they simply do not exist here.
Your efforts are hugely rewarded though, as the trails are empty and you will have extraordinary mountain vistas all to yourself with the great titan of Makalu playing centre stage.
Treks in the region typically head to Makalu Base Camp and take up to 21 days.
Our private trips to Makalu start from £2,895 per person.
3 – Manaslu
Manaslu is a huge favourite of the White Tiger team.
The first time you see Manaslu – the eighth highest mountain in the world - the twin-horned massif looks like a sleeping mythical creature at the head of the valley. It is an absolute monster which you cannot keep your eyes off.
Exploring Manaslu and the adjoining Ganesh and Tsum valleys is impressive with no shortage of astonishing scenery whichever direction you head - it is an absolute mecca.
There is a variety of routes you can choose in the Manaslu area, notably the Manaslu circuit which includes a crossing of the Larkya La (5,160m), a high mountain pass which is a great achievement to walk over itself.
The Tsum Valley is also an incredibly rewarding alternative which takes you into an area hidden from time, where yak caravans pour over mountain passes into neighbouring Tibet.
Journeys into Manaslu can be made on a shorter timescale here – as little as 10 – 14 days depending on where you go. As a guideline our private trips start from as little as £2,365 per person.
4 – Everest
OK, we had to put it in here.
Everest needs no introduction, the ultimate mountain flanked by the guardians of Lhotse and Nuptse. This part of the Himalaya rides in a different league, everywhere you look is dominated by more mountains over 7,000m than you can shake a stick at.
It is not only the mountains that are so spectacular, the Khumbu region also has a highly rich ethnic culture in the Sherpa people, as well as a developed collection of tea houses which pepper almost every valley. The region is unbeatable.
Coming to the Khumbu region for many is so that you can see the worlds highest mountain in Mount Everest, a lifetime goal ticked off the list.
The surprising thing is that there is a great deal of choice as to where you decide to travel in the Everest region. The great news is that there is no need to follow the same path to Everest Base Camp as the vast majority of other trekkers.
Escape the crowds by heading via Gokyo where you will see its turquoise lakes, impressive glaciers and big vistas. Crossing the high pass of Tashi Labsta (5,755m) is a great challenge with very few visitors.
The Everest Three Passes is a hardier challenge which tackles the Renjo La, Cho La and Chukung La pass, crossing the very heart of the Sagarmatha National Park, it is exceptionally rewarding for anyone who chooses it.
Journeys into this part of the Himalaya are typically made in 16 days with fully private trips to Everest Base Camp starting from £1,785 per person.
5 – Annapurna
Annapurna is one of the major celebrities in Nepal and for good reason, the range oozes opportunity offering everything you could wish for from a journey into the Himalaya.
Annapurna is the tenth highest mountain in the world and is the crown jewel in a peak studded range full of blistering scenery. Nearby Pokhara makes it amazingly accessible and a great place to relax tired muscles after exploits in the mountains.
There is a bounty of choice when it comes to trekking in Annapurna, trailheads are easy to access and the choice of comfortable tea house lodging is some of the best in Nepal. The food is delicious and you can get a hot shower 24 hours a day.
Route choices start with the Annapurna Base Camp, a true classic which has everything from cascading waterfalls and rhododendron forests. The crux of the trek finishes in the sanctuary of Annapurna which is an amphitheatre of wonder.
The Annapurna Circuit is perhaps the original trail of Nepal, the building of roads in recent years has spoilt the true essence of the trail, although one of the major positives is that access is now amazingly easy and you can see some outstanding scenery on a much shorter timescale.
Journeys into the Annapurna ranges can be made on as little as five days from Pokhara, heading up to 14-21 days depending on which areas you decide to travel.
Fully private trips start from as little as £1,495 per person.
Inspired? Get in touch with a member of the team to begin your own journey with us today.